OPENING NIGHT: FRIDAY 22 MARCH 2024
Unfinished Business is an exhibition by local artist David Morgan that seeks to raise questions about Australia's great unfinished business. How can we address the on-going injustice of Indigenous dispossession and all the ills that accompany this history?
The aftermath of the Voice to Parliament referendum has left a void in which efforts towards reconciliation between First Nations Australian and non-indigenous Australians struggle to find traction in public debate or personal discussion. His approach to this dilemma is to seek to provoke thought, rather than to tell an explicit story or propose a specific remedy. Morgan hopes that the works will prompt viewers to reflect on how and where they position themselves in relation to this issue of fundamental importance to Australian life.
Morgan creates work that draws upon his family’s settler history - his mother's circumstances as a settler on a newly designated farmstead and his father as an 'everyman' during the changing policy landscape of the first half of the 20th century.
He uses photographs from time spent in remote Indigenous communities, images of the colonial history of the Northern Rivers area and references to the convict era in Australia, as a way of contextualising the early colonial experience.
Unfinished Business is presented with permission from the Arakwal, Minjungbal and Yaegl of Bundjalung nation and from Yolngu of East Arnhem Land and Marrungu of the Pilbara, for the use of images over which they have cultural authority.
David Morgan is a local artist, based in Bangalow, who has worked as a practicing artist since 2010. His work is inspired by his experiences in Indigenous communities and his deep concern for fostering reconciliation with First Nations people.
He studied Art at Caulfield Technical College in 1967 and worked at the National Museum in Melbourne where he designed displays of Indigenous Australian cultural material.
In 1972 he worked as the Arts & Crafts Advisor with remote Indigenous communities in Milingimbi, Arnhem Land. He gained skills in printing, photography and graphic design and used them, with Yolngu literacy workers, to produce teaching and learning materials in the Gupapuyngu language. He later worked on a similar project with an independent Indigenous school in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
He has as Masters in Education and taught graphic design, photography, and poster/book production. In 1984 he was a pioneer in innovative teaching and learning materials in the emerging field of computer-based education.